VICTORIA Falls residents have blasted the local authority for double billing them for services council is failing to deliver.
The angry residents told a 2018 consultative budget meeting at council chambers on Wednesday that the municipality was taking them for a ride.
BY Nokuthaba Dlamini
Residents complained council was failing to provide water, street lighting and good road networks, among many other essential services.
“I don’t understand why most residents are being charged for sewer connections yet they are not connected to the sewer,” one of the residents said.
Another resident said Aerodrome, BB39 and BD46 and other low-density areas had dysfunctional street lights and no sewer.
“For more than 40 years, we have been paying for that and your budget is always rising yearly. You can’t tell us about crafting a budget that does not have projects for that year,” the resident said.
“Your papers are not transparent. In order for us to contribute towards this crafting, you need to give us time to submit our contributions and objections.”
Town engineer, Sherinah Sibanda said the problems would be rectified.
“That is a genuine mistake, please come through to our offices so that we can sort that out. We tend to assume that you are connected as you will be staying in areas that are connected to the sewer and we will reimburse you,” she said.
“As for payment of street lights, you have no choice. We will always charge you even if you do not have those lights in your neighbourhood. The fact that you walk to town at night and our lights are there, we are justified to make you pay.”
The residents said they were paying education levies yet there was no transparency on development of council-run schools.
Some complained about preference always given to council’s Mosi-Oa-Tunya High School, saying other schools like Chinotimba and Chamabondo needed to benefit as well.
Councillor Robson Salimu of Ward 8, who was chairing the meeting, said the education levy residents were paying was meant to assist all schools in the town, but at the moment only Mosi-oa-Tunya High School was benefiting.
He said the high school was now offering science subjects as a result of the levy residents were paying.
“In future, we can even consider building another school through this education levy,” Salimu said.
Another meeting has been scheduled for Monday after residents refused to adopt a document without their contributions and to do lists for 2018.